Fine Gael withdraw from General Election process
In a surprise statement, Fine Gael leader Michael Noonan (left) announced in a letter to the Taoiseach yesterday that his party would be withdrawing from the forthcoming General Election, calling the whole process "one-sided and biased".
"Fine Gael decline to take part in a lengthy and pointless exercise, the outcome of which is already decided", Mr. Noonan said. "No matter what we or anyone else do, we all know one thing: Fine Gael will not be in government at the end of it. It's a foregone conclusion".
The other parties reacted in a way that was all mixed-up. Labour leader Ruari Quinn giggled uncontrollably, before pulling himself together to say "Of course, Labour is very confident of being in government after the next election, as we are willing to sell out to absolutely anybody in order to get there. So we have no problem with the whole foregone-conclusion business".
Fianna Fail sources expressed disappointment that they would not have Noonan, Mitchell et al to kick around during the election, but worried that Fine Gael's departure would weaken further the electorate's already-flimsy illusion of choice.
"I just don't think it's worthwhile", concluded Noonan's letter. "All we'll get out of it will be a five-year talking-shop in which nothing gets done".